The aim of this online corpus – made possible by the generosity of the AHRC – is to present all the inscriptions found, on the site of Aphrodisias in Caria, or in its civic territory, up to the end of 1994. That provides a remarkable record of civic and personal life from at least the second century B.C. to at least the seventh century A.D., for the site is notably rich in inscriptions. A particularly suitable white marble was available to its masons, and since there has been no urban development in the immediate area in modern times to pillage its ruins in a serious way, many of the inscribed stones have been visible, especially those re-used in the still-standing city walls, to attract the attention of European travellers from the early eighteenth century onwards; see further the History and Bibliography of the Inscriptions. In the twentieth century excavation revealed still more – from 1904 to 1914 by French excavators, from 1937 to 1941 by an Italian team, and since 1961 under the auspices of New York University. These current excavations were directed by Professor Kenan T. Erim until his death in 1990, and thereafter by Professor Christopher Ratté and Professor R. R. R. Smith – all three with teams basically American and Turkish, but with an international component.

From 1966 to 1994 Joyce Reynolds, of Newnham College Cambridge, undertook the collection, transcription and publication of the main body of inscriptions. Charlotte Roueché, of King’s College London, worked with her from 1970, while in some years Professor M. H. Crawford, Professor W. M. Beard, Dr Dorothy Thompson and, subsequently, Mr. Robert Pitt also gave assistance. Joyce Reynolds, Charlotte Roueché and Dr Gabriel Bodard, of King’s College London, are collaborating in the preparation of this corpus and this, its first edition, IAph2007, which is being published now to mark the end of the first phase of our funding, and on the occasion of the 13th International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy.

The texts presented constitute some three quarters of the new ones foundbetween 1961 and 1994 but not published, and almost all those found up to 1994 which have already been published; the exceptions are the two Diocletianic documents, The Currency Revaluation and the Prices Edict (published as Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity 230 and 231) which are being prepared for republication by Michael Crawford and Benet Salway, and should be included in a later edition of this corpus.

The new texts have been read as carefully as the conditions in which their editors saw them have allowed, and commented on briefly. A number of the previously published items have not been reread or reconsidered in the light of information now available and/or comments elicited by the publications. This is a task complicated by total loss of some of the stones and damage done to others (although in a limited number of cases Reynolds has been able to check and sometimes to supplement the readings from squeezes, now in Paris, made by P. Gaudin and published by Th. Reinach). The items for which no such check has yet been made are included in a preliminary form, based on the publication of all such texts by Donald McCabe, Searchable Greek Inscriptions (Packard Humanities Institute, 1993) and prepared by Roueché and Bodard to make them readily available, and provide the fullest possible indices, for the convenience of readers. We aim to continue our study of both old and new inscriptions and to produce an extended second edition of the corpus in 2008. In that we hope that all new and unpublished items found up to 1994 will be included, and all entries for previously published texts brought up to date in so far as conditions allow.

We present the texts with as much illustration as possible in addition to as full a verbal account as we can provide; that we can do so is a major advantage of the new online technology over that of the printer for whom this was impossibly expensive, and we reckon that it will always add a little, and quite often a considerable amount to the reader’s understanding. We have organised them by location, principally by findspot, but for some stones which were used at different times in different places, it is possible to deduce the original location with certainty. This should bring out the relation of text to text as displayed in antiquity, as also of text to city-life; that is much harder to deduce from the arrangement in conventional corpora by type of text. Since our numbering system combines a number for each monument with one for each inscription displayed in it, it should be extremely easy to add inscriptions to the corpus without renumbering existing ones. Tables of contents, in addition to those normally provided, direct to inscriptions by type, to inscribed monuments by type, and to both by date, as well as to inscriptions previously unpublished. The index of names is especially designed in a manner which, we hope, will aid prosopographical research, and there is a search function.

Every page can be printed - the printed format is modified for the convenience of users - and we hope to develop this in a later edition so as to offer the option of a print-on-demand copy of the corpus in book form. Other scholars may also download the material in XML, for use subject to the terms of the Creative Commons Copyright licence.

We very much hope that colleagues will find these texts and this presentation of them helpful and indeed stimulating, and will be led to ask and answer questions which have not occurred to us. It is also our hope that new material from the continuing excavations at Aphrodisias will be regularly added to the corpus by subsequent editors. This first edition is now complete, and although we shall correct any technological or typological errors which we find, we shall make no changes to the texts, descriptions or commentaries in this edition.

The bibliographic reference should be: Joyce Reynolds, Charlotte Roueché, Gabriel Bodard, Inscriptions of Aphrodisias (2007). Available <http://insaph/>. ISBN: 978-1-897747-19-3.

This should be abbreviated to IAph2007 .